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Thursday, 17 April 2014

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Virgin loses West Coast rail franchise

Virgin Rail has lost the franchise to run the West Coast Mainline running from Carlisle to London and Glasgow.

Have your say

Interesting that Virgin are planning to start to operate a domestic air service. I wonder how that will affect rail demands for those wishing to travel from London to Scotland. I hope it isn't detrimental to the intermediate places such as Carlisle, unless of course we do finally get air links to other parts of the country!....

Posted by city resident on 21 August 2012 at 12:14

Alan. Yes, Virgin has being at forefront of British train journeys but not the worlds leaders for cheaper speedy rail transportation. Virgins new venture into UK short-haul flights won't benefit some rail journeys. HM Government have just replayed into businessman Richard Branson. The cats got the cream with First Group now looking perhaps to a sour future. High-speed rail threats of not stopping at Carlisle's Citadel Station is still looming and not yet settled? Railways have been going downhill in the UK since the popularity of motorways, motor vehicles such as car, besides Beeching's axing many popular routes and the Mallard steam engine breaking a speed record under British Rail. Perhaps now with soon further under FirstGroup with sooner or later a operational regional Carlisle Lakes Airport which hopefully will be a new Cumbrian doorstep tapping into worldly tourist's visiting the north's finest country with all its renowned merits. FirstGroup being screwed up on two fronts? Even former war theatres don't like fighting battles this way... Is it not with calculus with so many transportation fronts that the Government and FirstGroup have got it all wrong in the limelight of Sir Richard Branson's new venture? Cards now it seems say snap! Pay up time soon? Rail Passenger pay's up....

Posted by royl on 21 August 2012 at 09:24

I would firstly say that now in a double dip recession and the government needing to claw back money to boost the economy, then why back a train operating company with a 1.8 billion debt oustanding.

This would seem at best foolish to further fund improvements to push us the taxpayer to bankroll the mistakes of people in their ivory towers who get it wrong yet again.

Virgin has been at the forefront of an industry which is a very tough nut to crack with outdated systems in the infrastuctre. Let us not forget when this railway was built the capacity was not anticipated and said least the speeds now obtained.

Of course still more investment is needed and to increase capacity for the next generations to come and all this being done mostly at weekends and bank holidays.

Furthermore I seem to remember last time vrigin bidded for other franchises the word monopoly was mentioned and I would point out that first group have no less than four franchises.

Come on and see sense before history repeats itself again!

Posted by Alan Urquhart on 21 August 2012 at 06:47

A government petition page? Really? This was a tender to a contract. Virgin did not put in the best tender.

The best tender isnt always the lowest one, there are other factors to consider, such as the capacity to deliver the goods.

Virgin only have themselves to blame, next time do your sums better.

In response to the poster who made reference to Virgin not getting the national lottery.

This was exactly the same position. They didnt put in the best offer. Camelot put in a tender that was actually better, despite them taking a profit, than the one put in by Virgin on a not for profit basis.

Think of it in your own lives. Mechanic A and Mechanic B. Mechanic A donates his profits to charity, Mechanic B keeps them.

Mechanic A says he can service your car for £150, Mechanic B says he can service your car £130.

Both mechanics have experience and you have no reason to believe either cannot deliver.

What would you choose? You know the answer.

Posted by Jim on 18 August 2012 at 21:51

Of course there is another point of view to be had here. It may well be good for the west coast line. Now there's a thought. Arm chair doom and gloom contributors who would probably have moaned at virgin rail keeping the franchise! There is no evidence to suggest that the staff will be made redundant so why mention it. Unless you are listening to the scare mongering of union leader Bob Crow that is.
After having to stand every time I get a virgin rail train to London then I really don't see how the service could get any worse in my opinion. I cannot recall the last time I found a seat on any virgin train

Posted by Frustrated on 18 August 2012 at 15:14

reference Alison's Phillips's posting of 21.20 on 17.8.12 there is no need to insert that long web address ...simply do a Google for 37180. Then you will see a page appear. Kook at that page and you will see you can click for the government petition page. SIMPLER!

Posted by OLD LOCHINVAR on 18 August 2012 at 14:29

If you want to do something about the decision then log on and sign this e-petition!


Posted by Alison Phillips on 17 August 2012 at 21:20

virgin transformed west coast travel from out dated trains to modern ,wi fi fitted tilting trains slashing journey times with speeds up to 125 mph.throughout every bad winter they kept service s running carrying other companies passengers when other companies cancelled trains left right and center {including first trans pennine}.When the volcanic dust cloud hit it ferried thousands of stranded air passengers south for onward air transport.It currently employ s over 100 staff in Cumbria who s jobs are in limbo so i hope the goverment take into consideration that their jobs are in jepordy due to accepting 700 million pound more over 14 years and have factored in unemployment payments, non council tax payments ,added family tax credits,non income tax payments etc etc should first decide these employee s are subject to requirement

Posted by bob on 17 August 2012 at 15:10

We have the highest rail fares in Europe and the PRIVATE rail companies get 3 times more public subsidy than British Rail did - privatization is obviously working (for someone!)

Posted by Evil McBad on 16 August 2012 at 19:35

Typical politicians - nothing is ever allowed to bed down - health, education, transport.

Is this not a case of our government putting short term financial gain before long term service?

Who would want to run a railway with such people in charge?

Posted by A on 16 August 2012 at 16:58

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